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I am a business man. I manage money. I am in a position of fiduciary trust. In a fiduciary relationship, one person, in a position of vulnerability, justifiably vests confidence, good faith, reliance and trust in another whose aid, advice or protection is sought in some matter. In such a relation good conscience requires the fiduciary to act at all times for the sole benefit and interest of the one who trusts.

The reward is the financial well-being of my clients. The reward is the long-term relationships. Not one transaction but hundreds. The reward is the hand off to family and friends; “I trust him with my money, so should you.”

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Doctors take an oath. The oath was written in Greece 300 to 400 BC. The Hippocratic Oath is one of the oldest binding contracts in history. Written in antiquity, its principles are held sacred by doctors to this day. Hippocrates is credited with being the Father of Western Medicine. In his day this meant identifying diseases as physical manifestations, not curses set upon by the Gods. He promoted sterile environments and always looked to remedies other than drugs or surgery.

History is being written as we speak. The past century provided humanity with extraordinary cures. Vaccines eradicating horrible diseases and prolonging our lives by decades. We are the beneficiaries of these advancements. We can operate using robots, the doctor technically can be hundreds of miles away. Technology has provided doctors the ability to react to any situation.

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That is the rub. We are playing defense and we are the best in the world at blocking the rush on the one yard line. No country comes close to the expertise our doctors and nurses possess. We are failing on offense. You can’t win games with just defense.

Let’s discuss the 800 pound gorilla in the corner for a moment. I am not a doctor so I cannot venture to explain your revenue model. The perception is that doctors make all their money prescribing medication and procedures. These are defensive measures. The money is on defense. There is no model for preventative medicine. It’s shortsighted.

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Prevention has to move to the forefront of a doctors practice. Let’s face it, no one is getting better. With the advent of cholesterol and blood pressure drugs we still lost 600,000 Americans last year to heart disease! 600,000 cancer. 130,000 stroke. 69,000 diabetes.

Over the next decade, 40 million Americans will have access to health care not previously in the system. Statistically, 27 million of them will be obese. A new disease defined by the American Medical Association in June 2013. The result, your practice in the future is going to feel like a weight loss clinic with patients and insurance companies demanding you treat the disease. The only tools in your arsenal will be a handful of new obesity pills and tying patient’s stomach tubes.

There is a new way of thinking making its way around the water cooler. Eating plants.

That’s it. An approach that offers immediate benefits with minimal investment. Hippocrates said it a long time ago:

Natural forces within us are the true healers of disease. If we could give every individual the right amount of nourishment and exercise, not too little and not too much, we would have found the safest way to health. – Hippocrates

I recently wrote an article entitled, 17,000 Reasons to Eat a Plant-Based Diet. I had seen a news release about Kaiser Permanente’s special report in the Spring Issue of The Permanente Journal. The report (written by doctors) is urging doctors to recommend plant-based diets to patients.

“The alarming rise of chronic disease trends, among both adults and children, is sounding the wake-up call in the medical community that the current disease care system must be replaced with a true health care system.” – Dr. Scott Stoll

Playing offense has advantages. By rearranging the playbook and building a practice founded on fundamental principles of well-being you turn on a huge new source of business. Trust. The evidence supports that plant-based regimens improve health of sick patients. From diabetes, heart disease, cancer and obesity; plants can offer vast improvements in health. A doctor that improves health dramatically will be a highly sought after commodity. No one has ever referred a doctor to a friend because he/she writes a lot of scripts. (Depends on the script I suppose.)  It is time for doctors to be known as healers.

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I want to live in a world where the path to health comes from a practitioner of medicine not the internet and an orange pill bottle. – Ian Welch

If you are a doctor, nurse, office manager and want to explore throwing touchdowns not blocking field goals here is your opportunity. (I have no skin in the game but an invitation to the event would be nice…)

Scheduled for October 24-26, 2013 in Naples, Florida, the CME accredited North American Plant-based Nutrition Healthcare Conference is a rare opportunity for physicians and allied health practitioners to learn from many of the nation’s leading experts in the field of nutritional medicine.

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The Permanente Journal abstract concluded by stating:

The future of health care will involve an evolution toward a paradigm where the prevention and treatment of disease is centered, not on a pill or surgical procedure, but on another serving of fruits and vegetables.

 

Hippocratic Oath: Modern Version

I swear to fulfill, to the best of my ability and judgment, this covenant:

I will respect the hard-won scientific gains of those physicians in whose steps I walk, and gladly share such knowledge as is mine with those who are to follow.

I will apply, for the benefit of the sick, all measures [that] are required, avoiding those twin traps of overtreatment and therapeutic nihilism.

I will remember that there is art to medicine as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy, and understanding may outweigh the surgeon’s knife or the chemist’s drug.

I will not be ashamed to say “I know not,” nor will I fail to call in my colleagues when the skills of another are needed for a patient’s recovery.

I will respect the privacy of my patients, for their problems are not disclosed to me that the world may know. Most especially must I tread with care in matters of life and death. If it is given me to save a life, all thanks. But it may also be within my power to take a life; this awesome responsibility must be faced with great humbleness and awareness of my own frailty. Above all, I must not play at God.

I will remember that I do not treat a fever chart, a cancerous growth, but a sick human being, whose illness may affect the person’s family and economic stability. My responsibility includes these related problems, if I am to care adequately for the sick.

I will prevent disease whenever I can, for prevention is preferable to cure.

I will remember that I remain a member of society, with special obligations to all my fellow human beings, those sound of mind and body as well as the infirm.

If I do not violate this oath, may I enjoy life and art, respected while I live and remembered with affection thereafter. May I always act so as to preserve the finest traditions of my calling and may I long experience the joy of healing those who seek my help.

—Written in 1964 by Louis Lasagna, Academic Dean of the School of Medicine at Tufts University

 

About the Author: Ian Welch

In 2011, at the age of 40, Ian underwent quadruple bypass surgery.

Ian completely transformed his life, adopting a plant-based approach to wellness. His goal is to offer others with a plan of action when faced with difficult circumstances.

Ian lives in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida with his wife. Ian’s day job involves managing municipal bond portfolios. He is an avid long distance runner & Bikram Yoga practitioner. His blog can be accessed at www.WholeFed.org. Ian recently published, Instead of Flowers: Harness the Power of a Chronic Disease.

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